Written by Hombre Divertido
Hawaii Five-O had enough going for it to keep it on the air for twelve seasons. Not only did it have the beautiful background of Hawaii, but it also had a solid cast that stuck with the show virtually until the end, excellent writing, and much more. One of the big keys to success was the pacing. Though slow compared to today’s fast-paced editing style, in 1972 during the fifth season of this classic television police drama, you really got to see not only the story develop, but each individual scene as well. Many other crime-investigation series would take their lead from Hawaii Five-O, and fill the networks throughout the seventies.
Season five continually displays the evolution of the series from a show that focused on the boss Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) to more of an ensemble. McGarrett was clearly still, and would remain, the brains of the outfit, but there is a clear evolution of supporting characters from season one to season five.
Though sorely missed was one of the most underutilized and enjoyable of the supporting characters for the first four seasons; Kono (Zulu), who rarely had the opportunity to show his thoroughly enjoyable sense of humor, left the series after four seasons and was replaced by Al Harrington as Ben Kukua. Ben was an enjoyable addition, and fit well into the team, but Kono was continually missed. Along with Ben, Steve was supported by the wildly popular Danny “Danno” Williams (James MacArthur) and Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong).
There was good chemistry amongst the cast who had really settled into their respective roles by the time season five hit the airways. The format of the shows had also reached a solid level of consistency, as the audience had come to appreciate. Primarily each show would run the same. We were shown the crime, watched our tan team pick up the case, overcome roadblocks, the customary action sequences, and the big reveal at the end. Well formatted, acted, and executed each week.
One of the most enjoyable storylines that was often utilized on Hawaii Five-O, was that of the small time crook inadvertently getting caught up in a much bigger crime, or somehow crossing the wrong people. These episodes often displayed the writers attempts to put humor in the show. A good example in season five is “I’m a Family Crook — Don’t Shoot” starring Andy Griffith as a small-time grifter, who swindles the wrong guy, with the help of his wife and daughter. Though the humor does not always work, this and other episodes following the above mentioned format are enjoyable to watch.